The IWC Ingenieur Chronograph Racer watch replica ref. IW378509 we are reviewing here, still maintains the essence of the original iconic Ingenieur design with a robust stainless steel case measuring 45 mm in diameter, two dial variants —ardoise and silver plated— and available on strap or bracelet. In 2013 IWC embarked on the Formula One season as the Official Engineering Partner of the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team and to mark this cooperation, IWC rolled out the Ingenieur Chronograph Racer in stainless steel with an engraving of a Formula One racing car on the case back. Regardless of all these changes and improvements, the original DNA of the watch is still relatively well preserved. Trying to emulate the concept of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak and the Patek Philippe Nautilus, IWC hired Gerald Genta to give a facelift to the iconic Ingenieur giving birth to the Ingenieur SL ‘Steel Line’. Then in 2008, the Ingenieur was released as a more robust timepiece under the ‘Mission Earth’ name and fitted with a larger case measuring 45 mm in diameter, fitted with crown guards and powered by the in-house calibre 80110.
The mens fake IWC Ingenieur IW378509 watch was originally launched in 1944 and since then, it has experienced several changes and major redesigns. Perhaps the most noticeable changes, took place in 1976, 2005 and in 2008.
While one of the best things about this watch is that all hands —with the exception of the chrono seconds hand— are equipped with superluminova, the biggest downside is that the brightness at night is very weak and not long lasting. Since the hands are skeletonized and quite thin —for the chrono and running seconds—, the amount of luminous material applied to them is not necessarily enough to provide a strong lasting glow in the dark. Regardless, is nice to have luminova on the chronograph totalizer, a feature most chronos don’t have.
The IWC Ingenieur Chronograph Racer ref. IW378509 we are reviewing here, is fitted with silver plated dial and black rubber strap with black alligator leather inlay; however, this reference is currently sold on black rubber strap with blue alligator leather inlay.
The dial is well balanced with two subdials featuring highly polished raised surrounds and snailing. The subdial at 6 o’clock is for the running seconds and date aperture, while the one at 12 o’clock is the chronograph totalizer were elapsed hours and minutes can be read at a quick glance —with a circular totalizer that combines the hour and minute hands as if they were a watch-within-a-watch. To round out the balanced design of the dial, there is a raised flange with a minute chapter ring, a bright red tipped seconds hand and a red “60” in the chapter ring that was inspired by the digital display on the steering wheel of the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team racing car.
All it takes, is for the wearer to press —with the provided pin pushing tools— the small push-pin located on the corner of the strap to remove the it and quickly change it.On this particular reference, IWC has already changed the quick strap change mechanism that was originally placed on the back of the case —like on the original IWC Ingenieur or the Ingenieur Mission Earth we featured here— to the strap itself.
The strap is very sporty and quite comfortable made of a semi-rigid rubber composite. The alligator inlay is of premium quality and the strap is fitted with a stainless steel IWC pin buckle.
The IWC Ingenieur Chrono Racer ref. IW378509 was originally launched with a rubber strap with textile inlay but is now currently sold on black rubber strap with blue alligator leather inlay. As much as we are suckers for everything blue on watches, we definitely prefer the black alligator inlay on this IWC watch replica, just as we have it on the one we are using for this hands-on review.